Aberrant activation of Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) has been described in a range of human cancers, including non-small cell lung cancer and neuroblastoma (Hallberg and Palmer 2013). Vertebrate ALK has been considered to be an orphan receptor and the identity of the ALK ligand(s) is a critical issue. Here we show that FAM150A and FAM150B are potent ligands for human ALK that bind to the extracellular domain of ALK and in addition to activation of wild type ALK are able to drive 'superactivation' of activated ALK mutants from neuroblastoma. In conclusion, our data show that ALK is robustly activated by the FAM150A/B ligands and provide an opportunity to develop ALK-targeted therapies in situations where ALK is overexpressed/activated or mutated in the context of the full length receptor.
- Roger Davis, Howard Hughes Medical Institute & University of Massachusetts Medical School, United States
© 2015, Guan et al.
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